Navigation Links
Mammograms Can Save Lives of Women in Their 40s: Study

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancers in women aged 40 to 49 that are diagnosed by mammograms have a better prognosis than those detected by doctors or the women themselves, a new study indicates.

"They have an earlier diagnosis, earlier stage, better prognosis," said study author Judith Malmgren, an affiliated professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is also president of HealthStat Consulting Inc. in Seattle.

The new study, like previous ones, re-ignites the ongoing debate about the best age to start routine mammograms and the best screening interval. It appears in the March issue of the journal Radiology.

In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued mammogram recommendations. It recommends women aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk for breast cancer have a mammogram done every two years. It also suggests that women aged 40 to 49 at average risk discuss the pros and cons with their doctors and decide on an individual basis if and when to start screening.

Meanwhile, other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, recommend women begin mammograms at age 40 and continue to have them annually.

Malmgren and her colleagues evaluated nearly 2,000 women who had breast cancer. All were aged 40 to 49 when they were treated between 1990 and 2008.

The researchers looked at the method of diagnosis, whether by mammogram or if the cancer was found by the doctor or the woman. They also took these into account: the cancer's stage at diagnosis; type of treatment; annual follow-up; recurrence; and survival.

Over the 18-year period, the number of breast cancers diagnosed at very early stages increased 66 percent, while the number of more advanced cancers (stage 3) decreased by 66 percent.

Those whose cancers were detected by mammogram rose from 28 percent in 1990 to 58 percent in 2008. The number of cancers detected by doctor or patients declined from 73 percent in 1990 to 42 percent in 2008.

Women whose cancers were detected by mammograms were more likely than the doctor- or patient-detected cancers to have lumpectomy or other breast-conserving surgery: 67 percent vs. 48 percent. The women whose cancers were detected by mammograms were less likely to be given chemotherapy.

While 4 percent of women whose cancer was found on mammogram died during a follow-up period that ranged from one to 20 years, 11 percent of those whose cancers were found by the doctor or the women died.

When the researchers looked only at invasive cancers, 92 percent of the women whose cancer was found on mammogram survived without recurrence at five years; 88 percent of the other group did.

"I don't think the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is looking at the whole picture," Malmgren said. "They are concentrating on the harms."

Among them, according to the 2009 guidelines, are false-positives, which can lead to anxiety and unnecessary biopsies.

Malmgren, a breast cancer survivor, says more focus should be placed on the benefit of early diagnosis, because it often means less treatment is needed.

There was a decrease found in cancers being diagnosed at later stages in those whose cancers were found on mammograms. "That's where the money is," Malmgren said.

Dr. Virginia Moyer, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, reviewed the study. "The findings make sense," she said.

They found that cancers can be detected earlier by mammogram. "A screening test, if it can't find something earlier than [by] clinical presentation, is a poor test," she said.

However, she said, the study does not provide support for all women aged 40 to 49 to have routine mammograms.

When considering its recommendation, the task force took all available evidence into account, including published studies, Moyer noted. "The data from randomized trials and modeling show there is a very modest improvement in mortality with mammograms from 40 to 49," she said.

"Because it is so modest and there are risks, people need to make their own decision," Moyer said.

More information

To learn more about mammograms, go to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Judith A. Malmgren, Ph.D., affiliate professor, epidemiology, Washington University School of Public Health and president of HealthStat Consulting Inc., Seattle; Virginia Moyer, M.D., chairwoman, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and professor, pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; March 2012 Radiology

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Survey Finds Access to Mammograms Declining for Women Under Age 50
2. Access to Mammograms Drops After Guidelines Change
3. 89 Women Celebrate Mardi Gras with Mammograms
4. Mammograms May Not Boost Survival, Danish Study Suggests
5. Physicians who interpret mammograms may benefit from additional training
6. For Younger Women, Mammograms Not Too Effective: Study
7. Screening mammograms in younger women have low accuracy and detect few cancers
8. Mammograms Cut Breast Cancer Death Rates, But Only Modestly: Study
9. Mammograms Save Lives for Women in Their 40s, Study Says
10. Latest Findings Back Mammograms for Women in Their 40s
11. Cancer Risk From Radiation of Mammograms Is Slight: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Mammograms Can Save Lives of Women in Their 40s: Study
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at ... on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, Dr Graham ... Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). Noxopharm is seeking ... ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company with its first ... study later this year. NOX66 ... cancer patients - the ability of cancers to become resistant to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as ... Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) ... Daylight Time). As previously announced on May ... definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: